Latkes are the tradition food served for the Jewish Holiday of Hanukkah. They usually consist of peeled shredded baking or yukon gold potatoes, grated onion, egg as a binder and usually some flour or potato starch to hold them together. I have seen recipes use matzoh meal, or even bread crumbs. Yet other recipes use a combination of sweet potatoes and white potatoes, and/or use other grated veggies like carrots or zucchini. I am a purist myself using the potato, onion, little flour and egg combo.
Whatever your variation, I found the key to latkes is getting out as much water as possible from the potatoes. The other issue is the size of the latkes. I make mine by rolling the mixture into a golfball sized ball, then placing them in the hot oil and flattening them down with a spatula to about 1/2 inch thick. My Aunt Elaine likes to make hers super thin and flat.
You get about six latkes per pound of potatoes with my method. My recipe makes 25-28 which sounds like a lot, but trust me, they will all be gone. In fact, I find there are often fights for the last one if you have an odd number. They also make great leftover for breakfast if by some chance you have extra, and they freeze well.
Potato Latkes: Makes 24-28 serves 4-6
4 pounds of yukon and/or russet potatoes, peel, grated, and water squeezed out
1 medium onion grated
4 large eggs
3 Tablespoons of flour
1-2 teaspoons of kosher salt
fresh black pepper
Peanut oil for frying
Peel, grate, and squeeze as much liquid from the potatoes are possible into a bowl. The potato starch will float to the bottom. Drain off the potato liquid and reserve the starch to add to the potato mixture. Grate the onion and drain of some of the liquid. Add the onion to the grated potatoes then mix in the eggs, the reserved potato starch, the flour and salt and pepper.
Roll out into golf ball size balls.
In a large saute pan, add enough oil to about an inch high. Test the oil temp with a single strand of potato. If is dances like crazy you are ready to fry. Place a potato ball into the pan then press down with a flat spatula to about 1/2 thick. Once you fill up the pan, cover with a splatter screen if you have one.
When golden brown flip.
When done, place on a paper towel to remove some of the excess oil. Place in a warm oven to keep warm until they are all done, or serve immediately.
Add more oil to the pan, and bring up to temperature, and continue cooking until the batch is complete.
Serve with apple sauce and full fat sour cream
Here is my official Hanukkah meal. I have yet to find an official hanukkah meal like there is for Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving. The meal is usually a lot of latkes and nothing else. While a plate of latkes are great, I feel the meal can be balanced with some veggies and protein. I like smoke salmon, and a cabbage dish with my meal.Clementine orange also have to lighten up this heavy offering.
Chocolate Coins, another Hanukkah tradition